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Ask Jackie headline

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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
on any aspect of low-tech, self-reliant living.

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Jackie Clay

Q and A: canning bologna and using Tender Quick and saltpeter

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Canning baloney

Have you ever canned baloney?

I’d like to send you a SASE for Hopi seeds — can you mail to Canada?

Louise Sandy

Yes, I used to. But now they’re advising us not to can those dense foods so I don’t anymore. It was homemade and packed raw into the jars so it was very dense.

Yes, I can mail to Canada; I’ve already sent several seed orders to Canada. Send your SASE to BHM, Attn: Jackie, PO Box 712, Gold Beach, OR 97444. It does take about $2 worth of stamps though and you should really send a padded envelope because the seeds are fat. — Jackie

Tender quick or saltpeter?

I noticed that your recipes for homemade corned beef and bologna call for saltpeter, but I’ve read that the use of saltpeter is no longer recommended, and that Morton’s Tender Quick is a substitute. But your bologna recipe calls for both. What does saltpeter do, and is it necessary? Can Tender Quick be substituted?

Bolton, Massachusetts

Morton’s Tender Quick does contain sodium nitrate (saltpeter), but in a mixture of salt and sugar as well. Don’t replace the saltpeter with Tender Quick or your recipe will be too salty. Some folks omit the saltpeter and only use the Tender Quick, but the resulting meat will be grayish an look unappetizing to most people. Most professional meat curing houses still use the saltpeter or a mixture containing a percentage of it. Used appropriately and not over used or consumed, the saltpeter poses extremely minimal health risks. — Jackie

One Response to “Q and A: canning bologna and using Tender Quick and saltpeter”

  1. Dallen Timothy Says:

    In stating the obvious, I don’t mean to cause offence, because I’m sure you already thought about it, but be sure the stamps on the SASE are US stamps and not Canadian stamps. I only say this because a friend of mine accompanied me to Finland to spend a year in the 1980s. His mother saw him off at the airport with a roll of US stamps and said, “make sure you write to us at least once a week, and use these stamps so you don’t have to buy any”. It didn’t occur to her that he couldn’t use US stamps in Finland. Kind of a funny story!

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